Generally, a claim for breach of contract in New York has a 6 year limitations period. However, parties are generally free to negotiate and shorten the limitations period in their contract. Such was exactly the case in Dart Mech. Corp. v. City of New York where the contract limited the period to bring claims to 6 months. In upholding and enforcing the 6 month limitations period, the Court found that six months is not an unreasonably short period (as would have permitted the Court to void the provision). Dart Mech. Corp. is a good lesson for contractors: always read your contracts! Don't assume that what you have experienced in the past is the "rule" in your current and future situations.
Vincent T. Pallaci is the managing partner of the New York law firm of Kushnick | Pallaci PLLC where his practice concentrates on construction law. With offices in the New York City metropolitan area and Buffalo, KP serves the construction industry across the State of New York.